Thursday, July 2, 2020

July Color Challenge

It's Color Challenge Time again!

This month's color is Rust,

and the bird is the American Robin

head on over to 

American Robins are songbirds that typically have large, round bodies, long legs, and a fairly long tail. They are easily recognizable by their rusty belly and the flicker of white under their tails that can be seen when they are in flight. 

Robins are quite populous throughout North America and can commonly be found in gardens, parks, yards, golf course, fields, pastures, pine forests, deciduous woodlands, shrublands, and even tundra. 

Many people mistakenly believe that all Robins migrate south for the winter. While some do, many remain in their northern locations year-round. The reason for this confusion is that many birds, including the Robin, will stay up north as long as they can find a food source, be it natural or man-provided. During the winter, Robins form nomadic-type flocks consisting of hundred, and even thousands of birds. Typically the flocks will find food on trees and shrubs like crabapples, hawthorns, holly, and juniper, or that which is provided by people filling bird feeders. 

When the weather changes and Spring comes along, the flocks split up and the Robins begin their individual and never-ending journey of finding worms in our yards. (Remember the saying that the early bird gets the worm? That dates all the way back to the 17th century and is attributed to John Ray's collection of English proverbs.) 

Whether or not they leave the area for the cold month or stay here, to me, seeing a Robin is always a welcome sign that warm weather and green grass will soon be an every day thing. I find it comforting and peaceful to hear the easily recognizable sound of a Robin when I'm sitting on the patio early in the morning, enjoying a cup of coffee. It is another sign to me that we are headed away from short, cold, and dreary days of Winter, and that Spring is on it's way. 
Click HERE to listen to the sounds of the American Robbin

While searching for quilt pictures, I realize that I don't use a lot of rust in my quilts. There is definitely more brown than rust, and I'm not sure why that is. I think I'm going to work on changing that. 

While it doesn't have much rust or brown in it, it has some. This was made using the Bundle Buster pattern by Quilting Jetgirl 

This table runner has some beautiful rust fabrics in it. This is from Doug Leko's Once Upon a Memory book.

I used a variety of browns and rust batiks for this Breezy quilt that I made while pattern testing for Rachel Rossi


Most recently, I made this Prism quilt (a Tammy Silvers pattern), and I just love how the rust fabric works in it. 


I found this awesome rust fabric at Once Upon a Quilt in Ft. Lauderdale and knew right away that I wanted to use it for this block. I love the multiple "layers" of color here and it immediately made me think of a Robin's breast. I think it looks great with both the black and white background fabrics I chose.

Here are all the pieces, cut and ready to sew.

And here are the blocks! 

Check out the bloggers who are being featured this month. 
I think I'll grab a cup of coffee, go to the patio, and enjoy these posts. 
Hopefully I'll hear some Robins. 🐦☕😊

Kathleen - Kathleen McMusing
Stephanie - Quilt'n Party

Don't forget about the prize opportunity. 
Here are the 3rd Quarter Sponsors

Sponsors July thru September

Quilters Chic - PDF Pattern
For The Love of Geese - PDF Pattern
Carole Lyle Shaw - Pattern and Grunge bundle
Quilters Dream Batting - Dream 80/20 - 60" x 60"
The Fat Quarter Shop - Fabric Bundle
Warm Company - Warm 80/20 - 55" x 60"
Warm Company - 1 yard Insul-Bright
Make Modern Magazine - 6 month subscription
Patterns By JenSuperior Thread S-Fine 50
Patterns By Jen - Magic Wand

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Mandalynn - Pattern by Busy Hands Quilts

Do you remember this post about my secret sewing project for Myra of Busy Hands Quilts? I showed you a package that had arrived and I was getting ready to sew.

I loved these fabrics when I opened the package and that feeling has never waned. 

Let me introduce you to


This pattern is now available in both print and pdf version at Busy Hands Quilts

I know that I've said this before, but I LOVE using Myra's patterns! They are so easy to follow and her illustrations are wonderful. This pattern includes four sizes (throw, twin, queen, and king), so you don't have to do any math. She's done it for you!

Here are a few pictures of Myra's completed quilt. 

Image from Busy Hands Quilts
Check out that quilting! 

Image from Busy Hands Quilts

Why is it that it always seems to be windy when I try to take quilt pictures?

As you know, I always like to take pictures of the quilts I make from side angles. 

We all know that sometimes our beds to do not get made properly. I just love this picture Myra shared. I can just picture myself waking up and seeing these bright colors. What a wonderful way to start the day.

Image from Busy Hands Quilts

You can get your own copy of Mandalynn at Busy Hands Quilts.
While you're there, sign up for her newsletter. 

Check out Myra's Facebook page for more pictures of this beautiful quilt. 
You won't be sorry you did! She is offering a special introductory sale for this pattern thru Sunday, so don't wait too long.

I just have to share one more picture...

Image from Busy Hands Quilts

Monday, June 8, 2020

Design Wall Monday

Since this whole Covid-19 deal started, I've been working on a lot of different projects, including hosting a Table Runner Sew Along for Chestnut Ridge Sewing. I enjoyed that and decided that I really wanted to host another Sew Along, so I got busy on samples of Bloom, a Cut Loose Press pattern. This is the quilt on the pattern and for some reason it just caught my eye. I love all the colors and hexagons. 

Here's my version...

I used the same fabric for the background, setting triangles, and borders, and I'm very happy with how this turned out. This entire quilt top was made from stash fabrics and that makes me very happy. I did have to purchase backing, but I found the perfect fabric very quickly. As a bonus, after I quilted and trimmed this, I realized that the backing fabric was also the perfect binding fabric. Yay!

Of course I can't just make one sample when I'm going to be teaching a project, so I made a smaller version of the quilt too. (Stash fabric again!)

I used the backing fabric for the binding on this quilt too.  It has all the colors from the fat quarters I used and I'm thrilled that I didn't have to buy anything. :-) 

A 60 degree triangle ruler is required to make this quilt, but I didn't mind. I've used the ruler a lot; but I know many people have not. As a matter of fact, I know at least four people that have yet to remove the plastic. That was kind of the catalyst for me to use the pattern for the Sew Along. I really want people to use what they have and not be afraid to learn something new.

With that in mind, I figure there might be some participants who don't want to commit to a large quilt. So, for them, I created a couple of table runners. 

They will learn to use the ruler and have a usable product when they are done. 

After I made the red and white runner, I played around with some layout options and threw together this version of the quilt.

This measures the same as the original quilt, 64" x 80", but it looks so different and only uses 24 blocks. I'm pleased with this and will get it quilted soon. 

We pulled some fabrics, in case any of the Sew Along people want to buy a kit. Aren't these beautiful?

I have a strip of each of these fabrics so I can use them for my demos. I'm happy that will result in another quilt because I know it will be very pretty and I have just the person in mind who would love this. 

What are you working on today?

Check out the quilters' eye candy at 


Monday, June 1, 2020

June Color Challenge

It's Color Challenge time again! 
This month's color is blue and the bird is a Bluebird, of course. 

For the pattern and block instructions, head on over to 

The picture above is of an Adult Male Eastern Bluebird. 
He is quite small, but has big eyes, and a plump chest. His wings are long, but his tail and legs are pretty short. Unlike many other birds we see around here, his beak is quite short and straight. 

The Bluebird has a beautiful sound - whether he is singing, calling, or just letting other Bluebirds know to stay away. Click HERE to have a listen. 

We are fortunate to have a large number of Bluebirds around our house. They like to perch on wires, posts, and low branches. We have a couple of nesting boxes set up here, and it's a pleasure to watch them. 

The deep blue feathers of this bird are most vivid in bright light, and they are absolutely beautiful next to the brick-red/brownish throat and breast. 

I've always liked the combination of blue and brown fabrics, but I never really knew why. While typing up this post, I think I've figured it out. lol 

On of my favorite quilts (Totally Decaffeinated) is one that I made using this color scheme. Gee, don't those colors look familiar? 


There are two blocks in this quilt and I love them both, mostly because of the colors. They are almost exactly like the Bluebird.  😊

I don't have a good picture of the quilt and it's raining right now (and for the foreseeable future), so I'll just have to post this one. 

Even though the blue that I used for this month's blocks is not like the blues I used in my quilt, as soon as I saw the fabric at Once Upon a Quilt, I knew that I wanted to use it. It reminds me of the feathers of a Bluebird in flight with the sunlight hitting it. (See the box picture above)

You can't see the white fabric, but it's the same that I've been using all along. Here are the fabrics, cut and ready to be sewn. 

I like these blocks!

There are other bloggers joining the Bluebird rage today. Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or drink of choice and check out their fabulous blocks. 

Be sure to go to Jen's Blog to get the instructions for this block, as well as information on how you can enter to win one of the awesome door prizes available. 

Quarter 2 Sponsors - April thru June

Quilters Chic - PDF Pattern
Said With Love - PDF Pattern

Quilter Dream Batting - Dream Poly 60" x 60"
Cherrywood Fabrics - Two $40 gift certificates
Warm Company -  100 Warm - 100% Natural Cotton 55" x 60"

Island Batik - Garden Party Fat Quarter Bundle
Patterns By Jen -  PDF pattern and Superior Thread S - Fine 50

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Missing Mom and Dad

I miss them every day!

Frank Schwab
11/26/1925 - 5/30/2003

Carolyn Schwab
8/12/1926 - 12/02/2012

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day, 2020

There is often confusion on the various days that honor the men and women of the military. Here is a brief explanation of Memorial Day and its history.

Memorial Day, traditionally observed on May 30th, but now officially observed on the last Monday of May, is the day on which those who died in active military service are remembered

Originally known as Decoration Day, the holiday started in the years following the Civil War. (The Civil War claimed more lives than any conflict in US history and resulted in the establishment of the first national cemeteries.) Soon after the war, many towns and cities across the country began holding tributes each Spring to honor those who had perished in the war. Their graves were cleaned of Winter debris and decorated with flowers. Picnics were often held at the gravesite and prayers were said. 

Gen. John A. Logan (leader of a Northern Civil War veterans group), is often attributed with being the organizer of the first Decoration Day. On May 5, 1868, he called for a nationwide day of remembrance to take place later that month. He proclaimed, "The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing the flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defence of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land." He chose May 30th because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle or event during the war. 

The tradition continued and by 1890, every Northern state had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. On the other hand, while Southern states honored their dead in a similar way, it was done on a different day. Even today, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi celebrate Confederate Memorial Day at the end of April, while parts of South Carolina celebrate it in the middle of May. 

Memorial Day (Decoration Day) originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during WWI, the holiday evolved to commemorate all American soldiers who died in all wars. 

After WWI, the red poppy became associated with Memorial Day and many people continue to wear one during the day's events. The poppy association started with a poem written by John McCrae, a surgeon who was struck by the sight of the red flowers (they are actually classified as weeds), growing on a ravaged battlefield. 

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

    Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. 
Typically for many Americans, Memorial Day is observed by visiting cemeteries, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. It is also often thought of as the unofficial beginning of summer.

As my Memorial Day tribute, below are a few of the quilts I made using 

In Your Debt
There is no way for us to repay you for all you did and the sacrifices you made.
Thank you seems such a shallow thing to say, but since there are no other words, Thank you and know that I am forever in your debt.

Heart and Soul
You are the heart and soul of our nation. 
I will hold you in my heart forever and never forget your sacrifice.

Freedom Rings
Because of you, I have freedoms that are not enjoyed my many others. I know that freedom is not free and that you paid the ultimate price to ensure that freedom does ring for me.

Memorial Day, 2020 is different for most of us. 

There are no parades or picnics to attend. 

Let's not dwell on what we can not or are not doing today. 

Instead, let's take this time to remember the reason for this day.

Let's remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy today and look forward to tomorrow.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Secret Sewing

I received a package in the mail the other day... a new secret sewing project!

Just to tease you, this is the border fabric, and it's also used in the center of the blocks.  

I'm in the process of reading the pattern and organizing the fabrics, which are both awesome by the way. I'm excited about this, and can't wait to start sewing. This is going to be fun! 

Stay tuned for updates.